Some small businesses are lucky enough to not have much direct competition. Maybe they’ve identified a previously-unknown niche. Or maybe they are so dominant in their market that others can’t squeeze in. But not even these small businesses are safe from a smart competitor who can sweep in and steal away large swaths of customers.
To be a strong competitor and grow market share, small businesses need to continually improve. Identify your top competitive weakness and fix them– before your competitors do! Give your customers reason to stay loyal to you, and you can reasonably insulate your business from competitive threats.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to find your small business’s competitive weak points.
Competitive Strength Analysis
- Existing Customers: What do customers complain about? What steps have you taken to improve their experience?
- New Customers: How many new customers did you get in the last year? The year before? Make sure you have a plan for new customer growth.
- Product/Service Offerings: When was the last time you improved your product and service offerings? Lack of innovation leaves the door wide open to competitors.
- Profit Margins: Do you have any “unexpected costs” that occur frequently? How do these affect your margins and what can you do to allay them?
- Vendors and Partners: Are your partners helping you grow? Or do they promote more-of-the-same?
After answering these questions, you probably see several areas for improvement. Pick the most critical, and start working on them right away!